Recent comments

  • Conservation Groups Will Head to Court Over Yellowstone Snowmobile Decision   6 years 43 weeks ago

    Every winter I am in the north eastern cascades on my sled exploring some great wild country.
    I do meet folks out there doing the same, though it does not happen often.
    The picture above in Kurt's post does not look like folks wanting to explore some undisturbed and natural back country.
    (For your viewing pleasure)

  • Does Hiking Yosemite National Park's Half Dome Still Present a Wilderness Experience?   6 years 43 weeks ago

    At Rocky Mountain National Park early (c. 1915) guides put up cables on the North Face of Longs Peak. In about 1979 several of us past seasonal Longs Peak Rangers with the concurrance of the current Longs Peak crew, at that time, got together in a meeting and petitioned the park to remove the cables, which was subsequently accomplished in 1981(?), returing that route to a low 5th class (protecction from the eye bolts left in place). There is an alternative route through the Keyhole around the West Face and up the Homestretch route which requires some scrambling up a well trodden path. Several thousand climbers do so each year, making the 5,000 vertical foot treck from the trailhead. The rationale chopping the cables was in response to Wilderness Area designation in the 1980 Colorado Wilderness Bill.

    The Chasm Lake Shelter which, built in the 30s was deemed a cultural resource at the time and retained even though it was within the Wilderness boundary. None of us wanted this utilitarian and historic structure removed. In winter of '04-'05 the shelter was demolished and rearranged by an avalanche.

  • The Yellowstone Precedent   6 years 43 weeks ago

    Oh, my god! It's Dr. Gerald again...Mr. Ph.D.!. Not hate my man, but fire in the belly for riddance of the Bush & Cheney regime and their pack of liars. I don't hate anyone, but I do despise this administration for it's lack of truthfulness and integrity to the American people. When it comes to the National Parks and land ethics, I don't see how anyone can ignore the fact this administration could careless what you and I think about it's future...unless it represents rape, pillage and greed. Believe me, this is exactly what Mr. Cheney has in mind for the future of the National Parks, sell it off to the oil and gas companies....suck it for all it's worth! I don't hate Mr. Bush or Mr. Cheney, they just aren't my friends (thank god). Gerald, yes I do drive and I'm in the green business as a horticultrist, and know what the Iraq war is doing to this country...it's tearing it's soul apart. It's not the War on Terror that I'm deeply concerned about, but the fear mongering this administration tries too instill in the American people. I remember the slogan that this administration put forth not so long ago: it's called fear and smear! Nope! it won't work this time around in 2008. Vote for Obama in 08! I say to you Mr. Ph.D. in ending, "plant more trees and less bush". Happy Thanksgiving!

  • FAQs for Yellowstone's Snowmobile Decision Revealing   6 years 43 weeks ago

    You're damn right it helps them economically...what do YOU do for a living??
    These people have to feed their families too...why don't we just fence off the whole damn park. Better yet, let's just sell it off for minerals, timber and development since we can't use it.

  • Conservation Groups Will Head to Court Over Yellowstone Snowmobile Decision   6 years 43 weeks ago

    Yeeeeehaaaa!!!
    Time to go sleddin'!!
    Here's mine:
    http://www.arcticcat.com/snow/sled.asp?id=803
    BTW, snowmobiling DOES allow me to go places to go that are "undisturbed and natural and which offer a retreat from the rigors and stresses of everyday life.”...I AM HANDICAPPED...I have few opportunities to enjoy the wilderness.
    So stop trying to lock up the parks for only the able-bodied. Frickin' selfish wackos....

  • Conservation Groups Will Head to Court Over Yellowstone Snowmobile Decision   6 years 43 weeks ago

    Yada, yada, yada.
    Guess the NPS will just have to raise fees even more to cover court costs...go ahead, shoot yourself in the foot!

  • Does Hiking Yosemite National Park's Half Dome Still Present a Wilderness Experience?   6 years 43 weeks ago

    On November 21st, 2007, Random Walker wrote:

    How about removing the cable system entirely then.

    There are certainly wilderness advocates who are in favor of this proposal. Unfortunately, the cables are considered a historical monument, and thus are also to be protected by the park. This is a case where the laws that enforce preservation of various park features are in conflict.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    The WildeBeat "The audio journal about getting into the wilderness"
    Download the MP3 programs or subscribe to the podcast at...
    www.wildebeat.net

  • Park History: National Parks Built Around Caves and Caverns   6 years 43 weeks ago

    Let's not forget Russell Cave NM in Alabama - which is primarily a cave dwelling used by ancient North American peoples rather than a geologic wonder like many of the others.

    The National Forest south of Grand Canyon (vicinity of the San Francisco peaks near Flagstaff) had a few lava tubes here and there.

    I think there's a Mammoth Cave in England or Australia or NZ, isn't there? It's one of those English-speaking countries...

  • The Yellowstone Precedent   6 years 43 weeks ago

    My, my Anonymous, Bush and Cheney sure are powerful...they create hurricanes, kill small animals...you certainly have a lot of hate in your heart my man! Why are so many liberals so unhinged over Bush and Cheney? Who are ya gonna hate when they leave office?
    Clinton an enviro president? You have to be kidding...what did he do?
    "Rape and pillage" are pretty strong words...maybe you ought to say the same for mother nature, who has far more destructive abilities AKA Katrina...etc., etc.
    Backroom deals...hmmm...wonder how many deals your man Algore made with the Chinese.
    I'll let ya in on a little secret...the planet is NOT dying. The planet is actually quite healthy. I know, I know, that throws ya into a panic...all those enviro doom and gloomers are gonna be out of work...you enviros won't have anything to *itch about.
    The real agenda of the UN and other socialists is to bring this great nation down to the third-world level of prosperity by taxing anything that they think pollutes. Do you drive a car? How would ya like to start paying taxes for every mile you drive?
    BTW, we are winning the war...(actually Iraq is just one battle in the War on Terror)...the surge IS working...oh, I'm sorry, I forgot that any good news about America just really depresses ya! LOL.
    Dr. Gerald
    PhD

  • Park Service Issues Record of Decision On Snowmobiling in Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks   6 years 43 weeks ago

    Q: "What is Director Bomar thinking?"

    A: "Only a few more years until retirement........now if I can just get out of here a little early to beat the holiday rush-hour traffic......"

  • Park Service Issues Record of Decision On Snowmobiling in Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks   6 years 43 weeks ago

    Linda O'Neal, I sense your outrage and anger towards Director Bomar. I like I said before (some blogs ago) no governmental agency under the Bush & Cheney administration will thwart the advice of these two clowns. It's about greed, rape and pillage! You can read some of the most profound revelations about Yellowstone National Park by great writers and journalist (past & present) in how they describe the natural beauty of this great park system. You can feel the heart of their work and the breathing soul of Yellowstone. To see Ms. Bomar toe-the-line for the Bush regime is a slap in the face towards common sense land mangement and land ethics. Of course, with this corrupt administration, big money always speaks first over public opinion or decent values. It's a administration that has run amuck without a conscience. Vote for Obama!!

  • Everglades National Park Asked to Give Manatees Protection From Boaters   6 years 43 weeks ago

    You both seem to be suggesting that immediate action needs to be taken to save an endangered species of wildlife by a resource management agency unencumbered by politics, bureaucracy and careerism. In short an agency that puts the protection of park resources above all else.

    I sure feel sorry for those poor manatees.

  • Everglades National Park Asked to Give Manatees Protection From Boaters   6 years 43 weeks ago

    "...questions that still need to be answered with regard to this fascinating but still poorly understood species."

    Hmm, to me, this perfectly describes the human species. I often wonder why we do the things we do. Or don't do the things we should do.

    When I paddled and motored the Everglades we routinely saw people disregarding the speed limit / no wake rules. And how do you enforce such things? You really can't be everywhere at all times with an army of flat-hats policing the waters... so you restrict it altogether since idiotic people can't seem to do what's right. Yeah, sometimes we all need to suffer as a result of the stupid few. Get out your paddles and put away the Evinrudes.

    And to Kurt and Jeremy -- this is exactly the same issue as the snowmobile issue in Yellowstone -- noisy, dangerous, annoying, and replete with a population of people wearing the badge of entitlement on their chests. And in this case -- year-round.

  • Does Hiking Yosemite National Park's Half Dome Still Present a Wilderness Experience?   6 years 43 weeks ago

    There are higher priority problems elsewhere to spend resources?
    How about removing the cable system entirely then.
    That ought to stifle, limit the flow of wilderness seekers a bit.

  • Park Service Issues Record of Decision On Snowmobiling in Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks   6 years 43 weeks ago

    When I visit Yellowstone for the first time in the coming years, I hope I can still experience the silence and majestic beauty of this great land. I hope the whining of snowmobiles won't wash the silence away or keep wildlife from my eyes. The cumulative damage snowmobiles will cause will change and damage the scape, and it's a shame that future generations won't be able to enjoy the land as past generations have. What is Director Bomar thinking? What a shame!

  • Video Postcard : Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve   6 years 43 weeks ago

    Kansas isn't nearly as flat as I had thought it would be.

    You were thinking of western Kansas. I spent my early childhood in eastern Kansas (not a fact I readily admit), and we had places like Echo Cliff and Burnett's Mound and Buffalo Hill. Nothing spectacular when compared to Crater Lake, Lava Beds, or Mount Shasta mind you. But not as flat as many assume. Now the drive west on I-70 to past Salina to Denver...oh...my...god. That's flat! Did you know William Steele ("father" of Crater Lake) was from Kansas? As a school boy in Kansas he unwrapped a sandwich wrapped in newspaper to find an article on Crater Lake, or so the legend goes. He dreamed of visiting there, and many years later was superintendent of the park. Parallels my story. Except I wasn't superintendent. Yet. Ha.

  • Video Postcard : Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve   6 years 43 weeks ago

    The question of bison grazing did come up. As I recall, we were told that the eventual plan is to replace the cattle grazing with bison grazing. I don't remember if a specific number was given though. I didn't touch on it in the video, but part of the story at the Tallgrass Prairie is that it is a co-managed unit, with the Nature Conservancy playing a tremendously big role in the prairie management. In fact, you can hear the interpreter near the end of the video talking about an entity "paying taxes" on the land -- he's referring to the Nature Conservancy. It would be ultimately up to the Nature Conservancy (I believe), working in partnership with the NPS, to bring the bison back to this range.

  • Park Service Issues Record of Decision On Snowmobiling in Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks   6 years 43 weeks ago

    Anyone surprised?

    I'm trying to post all the news stories in the Yellowstone Newspaper, including press releases. If anyone has one not there, please send it along to me. We've already got quick press releases from the BlueRibbon Coalition (representing the snowmobile industry) and The Coalition of National Park Service Retirees.

    Stay tuned.

    Great timing on the report - the cynic in me has to love it that the report is not only a day late but out late before the Thanksgiving holiday when everyone will be traveling.

    Jim Macdonald
    The Magic of Yellowstone
    Yellowstone Newspaper
    Jim's Eclectic World

  • Does Hiking Yosemite National Park's Half Dome Still Present a Wilderness Experience?   6 years 43 weeks ago

    Bingo Steve....good interview. Glad that to hear the Park's position on permits. After careful thought, I feel 60% of the people going up the Half Dome trail need education. When you get a wilderness permit, you have to listen to a bear-proof container lecture. If and I say IF, permits for Half Dome were started, I'd recommend that if you get a permit you could not do the hike for 3 days after. That way, you'd have to hear a mini-lecture on safety, water, cables etc -or- read a sheet -or- watch a 15 minute video. Like "drive up/drive back" one-day banshee skiers, one-day Domers could benefit from reasonable guidance. But as Scott said there are no resources to manage and monitor all this.

    Rick D.
    http://www.HikeHalfDome.com

  • The Alter and the Pulpit in Zion National Park   6 years 43 weeks ago

    A very nice picture. Reminds me of scenes from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

    Another great spot for a Zion Canyon shot is from the top of Angel's Landing about an hour or so before sunset looking to the south. The lighting is spectacular at that time of day.

    Owen Hoffman
    Oak Ridge, TN 37830

  • Video Postcard : Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve   6 years 43 weeks ago

    The last time I checked, a small herd of 25-30 bison was being managed for experimental purposes on a 1,200-acre tract west of the historic ranch house. Whether a large bison herd will ever again roam the preserve is certainly open to question. There seems to be no scientific evidence that bison would be better for the land than cattle. What seems more important is how much grazing of any kind is permitted where and when. The preserve is probably too small to accommodate both bison and cattle in large numbers.

  • Video Postcard : Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve   6 years 43 weeks ago

    Jeremy,

    I note that you drew a different interpreter on your bus tour than I did. I hope the amplification was better. I actually did meet your interpreter at the visitor center/gift shop area, and belive he had experience at several other parks.

    Did you ask about when the TGPNP would eventually manage bison instead of cattle, and if and when that happens how many head of bison the national preserve would sustain? I noted that you took close-ups of the flint of the Flint Hills. Very nice video.

    Owen Hoffman
    Oak Ridge, TN 37830

  • Does Hiking Yosemite National Park's Half Dome Still Present a Wilderness Experience?   6 years 43 weeks ago

    As far as I can tell, the (big-W) Wilderness areas in the contiguous 48 states are all such small islands of wildness surrounded by lands that are in many cases heavily impacted by human presence. Even if we completely eliminated all amenities for human visitors, such as trails, signage, established campsites, and ranger stations, a tremendous amount of management would still be needed just to keep the influences from the adjacent civilization from impacting these places. And most of the wildlife (plant or animal) in the preserves aren't necessarily aware of the boundaries of these preserves anyway, and trying to keep the unimpacted wildlife in, and the impacted wildlife out, is probably impossible.

    It was interesting, when I interviewed the Yosemite spokesman, what he had to say about the possibility of limiting day-use access to Half Dome:

    STEVE: [15:37] So there's no thoughts at this point of a lottery system like Mount Whitney?

    SCOTT GEDIMAN: [15:41] There isn't -- No, there is no point. And what's interesting is, when people have brought that up in a lot of the media attention and a lot of people have thought about that, not only is it something that we're not looking at doing, but things like that they're very staff intensive, and to have people, and we certainly -- we don't have the staff, and I don't say that as a cop-out, but I say that as something that when you're up there regulating, you've got thr Half Dome trail, people are coming from Glacier Point, people are coming from Tuolumne Meadows, people are coming from Yosemite Valley. You have people converging on the trail, you have a lot of people coming, and to really have someone there to check permits or to check people is not something we're looking at doing anytime soon. And we don't have the problems right now, of course the solitude and the people, that's the biggest concern we have among wilderness users, but as far as issues like bear encounters, human waste, trail degradation, it's at a manageable level, and so if it continues to be that way, then we'll continue to manage it the way we are.

    So they don't have the resources to manage the traffic, and feel they have higher-priority problems elsewhere in the park to spend their resources on.
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    The WildeBeat "The audio journal about getting into the wilderness"
    Download the MP3 programs or subscribe to the podcast at...
    www.wildebeat.net

  • Everglades National Park Asked to Give Manatees Protection From Boaters   6 years 43 weeks ago

    Difficult or not, it is the duty of park officials to close to power boats those areas needed to protect the manatees. Anything else is malfeasance and should be treated as such. The Park Service must do what is right and required of them without considering the effects on power boaters.

  • Yellowstone Snowmobile Decision Missing Record of Decision   6 years 43 weeks ago

    Another story in the Billings Gazette today is reporting Wyoming state representative Colin Simpson as saying the final draft when it is published will allow the East Entrance to stay open to snowmobiles.

    Very interesting about face ... what's going on behind the scenes, and how is it that Colin Simpson already knows what's going to happen?

    More as always in the Yellowstone Newspaper, linked below.

    Jim Macdonald
    The Magic of Yellowstone
    Yellowstone Newspaper
    Jim's Eclectic World